2022 Edison Patent Awards
Science & Technology

The Night When NJ Scientists Are Stars!

The Research & Development Council of New Jersey (R&D Council) last Thursday honored the winners of the 2022 Edison Patent Awards, the state’s highest recognition for inventors and innovators. Fourteen winning patents created by 54 inventors were recognized.

Additionally, Princeton chemist and Nobel Prize Winner David W.C. MacMillan, Ph.D. received the night’s highest honor: the Science and Technology Medal. New Jersey Health Commissioner Judith M. Persichilli received the Chairman’s Award; and New Jersey Senate Majority Leader Teresa Ruiz received the Educator of the Year Award.

Held at the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, the 43rd annual event was a night in which “the scientists are the stars, where the dreams of research concepts become reality, and where the state of New Jersey gets to shine a light on its title as the Innovation State,” said R&D Council President Anthony S. Cicatiello.

Before an audience of more than 200 people, mostly research scientists from academic institutions and businesses, Cicatiello added, “Everyone in this room knows what it takes to make a difference in the world. You know about the education that is needed; the failure, perseverance and success; and the blood, sweat and tears. … It is the determination of people in this room that makes a difference.”

R&D Council Chairman Kevin Campos, who is also vice president and head of process, research & development at Merck, told the audience, “Similar to Thomas Edison, you defied the status quo. You chose to imagine what might be possible, turning your ideas into reality.”

Kim Case, executive director of the R&D Council, recognized the Governor’s STEM Scholars at the event. The STEM Scholars program is a partnership between the Governor’s Office, the Department of Education, the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education, and the R&D Council. Through the program, “excelling high school and college students from grades 10 through PhDs are learning about how they can become STEM leaders at New Jersey companies, within our universities and within government,” Case said.

The 2022 Edison Patent Award winners included BASF, Celularity, Inc., Colgate-Palmolive, Ethicon, Inc. – a Johnson & Johnson Company, Kulite Semiconductor Products, Inc., Merck, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, Rowan University, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Siemens Healthineers, Siemens Technology, and Stryker. The recognized patents ranged from consumer plastic packaging that can be recycled to an unmanned vehicle that can seamlessly move from underwater into the air. (See more winner details below)

David W.C. MacMillan, Ph.D. received the Science & Technology Medal for the development of asymmetric organocatalysis – a new type of catalyst that is greener than traditional metal catalyst. This innovation has transformed organic chemistry, leading the world to a new means of constructing drugs and materials. Dr. MacMillan, the James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor of Chemistry at Princeton University received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2021 for this work.

New Jersey Department of Health Commissioner Judith M. Persichilli, R.N., B.S.N., M.A. received the Chairman’s Award for her tireless efforts leading the state’s public health emergency response during the COVID-19 pandemic, culminating in the distribution and administration of more than 14 million­­–and counting–doses of COVID-19 vaccines in the state.

The Educator of the Year Award was presented to New Jersey Senate Majority Leader Teresa Ruiz (District 29). Prior to becoming Majority Leader in 2022, Senator Ruiz served as the Chair of the Senate Education Committee for 12 years where she fought for equity in education spaces. Senator Ruiz has been the leading force on increasing access to early childhood education with the expansion of state-funded Pre-K in New Jersey. She has championed apprenticeship programs to support career pathways in high-growth industries and sponsored legislation to increase teacher diversity.

2022 Edison Patent Award Winners

Organization Category Inventor Names Patent Name and Number
BASF Environmental David Weinberger, Wolfgang Ruettinger, Pascaline Tran, Laif Alden, Ting Gu, Feng Zhao, Anju Shi, Nils Lawrenz, and Lukas Wengeler Manganese Oxide Based Catalyst and Catalyst Device for the Removal of Formaldehyde and Volatile Organic Compounds, U.S. Patent 11,203,009 B2
Celularity Inc. Emerging Therapies Robert J. Hariri, MD, Ph.D. Method of Collecting Placental Stem Cells, U.S. Patent 10,113,146
Colgate-Palmolive Consumer Jun Wang Dimensionally Stable Recyclable Plastic Package, U.S. Patent 10,889,093 B2
Ethicon, Inc. – a Johnson & Johnson Company Medical Device Jason Perkins, Jesse Nawrocki, Jason Huff, and David Lindh, Sr. End Effector for Wound Closure Device, U.S. Patent 10,336,001
Kulite Semiconductor Products, Inc Aerospace Martin A. Sanzari Thermally Stable High Temperature Pressure and Acceration Optical Interferometric Sensors, U.S. Patent 9,810,594 B2
Merck Pharmaceutical Carl A. Baxter, Edward Cleator, Faye Sheen, Shane W. Krska, Neil Strotman, Gavin Stewart, Debra J. Wallace, and Timothy Wright Process for the Preparation of an Orexin Receptor Antagonist, U.S. Patent 9,108,959
New Jersey Institute of Technology Emerging Technology Wen Zhang and Wanyi Fu Microwave-Assisted Antifouling Membrane Filtration System, U.S. Patent 10,583,402
Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory Industrial Processes Hantao Ji, Philip Efthimion, Erik Gilson, Eric Edlund, and Adam Cohen Advanced Liquid Centrifuge Using Differentially Rotating Cylinders and Optimized Boundary Conditions, and Methods for the Separation of Fluids, U.S. Patent 10,300,410
Rowan University Biomaterials Anthony Lowman, Erik Brewer, and Nigel Smith Cross-Linked Hydrogels and Method of Making the Same, U.S. Patent 10,507,264
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey Defense Francisco Javier Diez-Garias and Marco M. Maia Unmanned Air and Underwater Vehicle, U.S. Patent 10,315,762
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey Biotechnology Shengkan Jin and Juan-Carlos Collantes A Nuclease-Independent In Vivo Targeted Gene Editing Platform and Uses Thereof, U.S. Patent 15/744,505
Siemens Healthineers Medical Health Florin-Cristian Ghesu, Eli Gibson, Bogdan Georgescu, Grbic Sasa, and Dorin Comaniciu Medical Image Assessment with Classification Uncertainty” (U.S. Patent 11,275,976
Siemens Technology Energy Chao Yuan, Amit Chakraborty, Holger Hackstein, and Leif Weibking Discriminative Hidden Kalman Filters for Classification of Streaming Sensor Data in Condition Monitoring” (U.S. Patent 10,565,080 B2
Stryker Enabling Technology Joseph Robinson, Lewis Mullen, Robert Klein, Nicholas Dong, Matthew Poggie, Eric Jones, Christopher Sutcliffe, Dan Jones, and Robin Stamp Surface Modified Unit Cell Lattice Structures for Optimized, Secure, Freeform Fabrication (U.S. Patent 9180010 B2

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